2017 Archives

Steady growth has local Republicans sounding the alarm over 'possible Californization' of Collin County

Excerpt

The following is from the Feb. 17, 2017, edition of The Dallas Morning News. SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson provided expertise for the story.

 By Valerie Wigglesworth 

Conservatives are still king in Collin County — for now — but a steady influx of new residents from traditionally Democratic states has local Republicans sounding the alarm about a "possible Californization" of the area. 

Local GOP leaders are issuing a call to arms to their party brethren as major corporations continue to move to the area, including Collin County, bringing with them employees who may not be intimidated by Republicans' long-held dominance at the ballot box here. 

Political observers say Republicans' stranglehold on Collin County politics isn't likely to change anytime soon. But it's clear that Democrats are gaining ground as new residents arrive daily from Democratic bastions in the Northeast as well as California and elsewhere in Texas. . . . 

But the changes, though noteworthy, won't immediately translate into a new voting paradigm in Collin County, according to Southern Methodist University political consultant Cal Jillson.

That's because even though the Democrats have made some strides, they have been on the losing side of elections in both Collin and Denton counties for more than a quarter-century. It will take more than one or two election cycles to turn the tide.

"They have usually been so beaten down that they barely organized at all," Jillson said. And while their numbers are on an upward swing, even in red counties, "it will be the work of decades for them to organize to become a significant challenge to the current Republican majority." 

And that's if Republicans do nothing. With awareness and efforts to tackle the problem already underway, Republicans can push the shift even further into the future, Jillson said. 

Democrats will also have to change their mind-set. While they seem to celebrate their political affiliations elsewhere, Jillson said, they tend to go silent once they move to Collin County. 

Read the full story.